Adrian Peterson could be cut or released by the Minnesota Vikings at some point following a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge for gross punishment of his four year old son. So that begs the question, would the Colts be a potential landing spot for the All-Pro RB with a freshly checkered past?
Understand there are a lot of moving parts to this scenario. First and foremost, Minnesota owns Peterson's rights through the duration of his current contract. In all likelihood, they will continue to squat on those rights to try to get a team desperate for an upgrade a RB, like the Colts, to trade a valuable draft pick to get him, which Ryan Grigson has infamously done in the past. Minnesota only owes Peterson a modest workout bonus prior to the start of next season. That is why they will likely shop his rights, rather than wash their hands of him and cut him outright.
However, if they do cut Peterson outright, should the Colts be interested? In short, absolutely. Yes, the pictures of his four year old boy are revolting, disgusting and any other disturbing adjective one can think of, but the city of Indianapolis has always been one to embrace and forgive people with checkered pasts. It's probably that Midwestern attitude. Well, that and that Peterson will help mask the Colts offensive issues so fans of the team will almost immediately forget. Similar to how most fans have already forgotten that Griff character who returned punts or something after seeing what Josh Cribbs can provide in his first game in quite awhile.
Peterson won't come cheap and the Colts wouldn't be the only team pursuing him either. He's also on the wrong side of the age curve for NFL running backs, which is always cause for concern for most GMs when investing substantial money in players. This concern is lessened when considering Peterson's almost super-human healing and consistency. However, the Colts have one thing most other teams can't offer. A young, rising star at QB in Andrew Luck. Just think how much more space Peterson could have to run with teams preparing for Luck or vice versa how much space Luck and his WRs would have to throw if teams prepare for Peterson. Peterson can make a pedestrian line look great. This was something Grigson hoped for when he unfortunately traded a first round pick for struggling RB Trent Richardson. The allure of finally having a QB may help lower the cost of potentially signing Peterson but probably won't lower it too much.
Obviously, the huge concern for the Colts as an organization if Peterson is signed is public perception. When looking around the NFL, people forgave Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and Ben Roethlisburger to name a short few for similarly heinous convictions and accusations. Ray Lewis actually has a statue outside of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore despite being accused of murder. The Colts organization itself has had some recent unfortunate run ins with the law, which may cause more concern about signing Peterson. But, the city and the majority of Colts fans have moved on from those incidents as well. Colts fans would welcome Adrian Peterson with open arms if he shows remorse and asks for forgiveness, because, right or wrong, that's just what Midwesterner's do.
So if Adrian Peterson did become available, the Colts should seriously consider it. He'd help solidify a position of weakness and continued flux for the team. Oh, and he'd help them win games too.